Congress and the President must forfeit their pay and healthcare benefits until the fiscal cliff is resolved. And they must pass a solution, not a stop-gap.
And, if they miss the Jan 1 deadline, all of Congress and the President must take a permanent 15% pay cut. Their pay cannot be raised for two years.
"The American People" that both sides constantly regale live in this sort of world (do your job or don't get paid). If it is good enough for us, it's good enough for them.
Response to Petition
By Brian Deese
After months of debate, in the end, lawmakers from both parties came together and passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act, a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans while preventing a middle-class tax hike. We're not going over the fiscal cliff. Middle-class families across the country will not see their income tax rates go up this year, and the same is true for 97 percent of small businesses. On top of that, 25 million families will continue receiving tax credits that help them raise their kids and pursue higher education. Businesses all across the country will continue to receive tax credits for the investments they make and research they conduct, and clean energy companies will get vital tax benefits for expanding their production. And 2 million Americans who are out of work and looking for jobs will continue to receive unemployment insurance. On top of that, for the first time in 20 years, a bipartisan group of lawmakers voted for sensible tax increases on the highest income earners -- which will help us cut the deficit by $737 billion.
But since you mentioned Congressional pay specifically, it's worth pointing out that the American Taxpayer Relief Act also includes a provision that freezes Congressional salaries for the rest of the year.
Brian Deese is Deputy Director of the National Economic Council